Ride or Die Make-Up | The Travel Edit


It was only a matter of time before the beauty bloggers’ tag of the moment reached Vivify. Back in July, we spent three weeks on the other side of the globe for our honeymoon with limited baggage. Having to choose one product per category was a real life decision of my holy grail products.

I’m sure anyone who has gone long haul will be familiar with the woes of liquids and air travel. You can’t just chuck your usual makeup bag in your suitcase. The limitations of what you can and can’t take in your hand luggage mean you have to be picky with products. So here’s what made the grade:

Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum
A lightweight, natural looking, medium coverage foundation. My skin, but better.

Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner
Waterproof, pigmented and easy to apply; this pen ensures my signature cat eye can face anything.

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational (original)
Yet to try this drugstore favourite of just about every beauty blogger? You should. The curved brush gets every lash and gives a natural lengthening and volumising effect.


Lipstick: Mac Syrup
Nudes are so in right now it hurts, but nothing beats this near perfect match for my natural lips.  I’m not a big lipstick fan, and I’m wary of anything bold, so this was my first move into the world of lip wear!

Eyeshadow Palette: theBalm NUDE ‘tude
This is a compact palette and yet has an array of colours to create a range of looks. It’s not budget but I think palettes are worth the splurge as drugstore equivalents can be chalky.

Brows: Soap and Glory Archery
On a regular day, I tend to leave my brows alone. But when they need a little help, nothing gets the job done like this pencil. There is no need to lug a sharpener around either as the product twists up. Anything that reduces what I need to take on holiday gets the thumbs up from me!

What are you travel essentials? xoxo


L’Oréal Paris Superliner Superstar


If you know me IRL then you’re aware that I rock a cat eye flick on a daily basis. You might even call it my signature look. So to achieve this I need a reliable, pigmented, long-lasting liner.

Is this it? Sort of.

This felt tip liner from L’Oréal is super easy to apply, gliding on in the perfect flick in almost one stroke. What more could you ask for? Well, it does run onto my eyelids in a way that other liners do not. My hooded eyes cannot take all the  blame.

The solution: apply over a powder/kohl liner to make this product linger in all the right places. I find the payoff for ease of application warrants the extra step.

Few people seem to realise the nib is bendable which only makes the application easier. It does take some force though so be brave.

This is a liner which I have and will repurchase. Despite this, the Stila waterproof pen is a worthy investment (albeit double the price). Just be sure to avoid similar offerings from Makeup Revolution and Collection. They made me look like a panda within a minute of leaving the flat.

Reliable. To the point. Affordable. An average liner that sacrifices longevity for ease of application. Recommended, but there are better liners out there.

What are your favourite eyeliners? Do you have any bargains you rave about or do you think quality means a higher price tag?



Falling out of Love with Beauty Boxes… From addiction to recovery

They were once a wonderful thing, filled with discoveries and unknown territories. But I now look around the remnants of what was, and I feel almost regretful…

No, this is not a love affair (although it could be mistaken as one). I’m talking about my relationship with beauty subscription boxes.

A year ago I was a paying subscriber to all mainstream beauty boxes and now I’ve reduced that total to only one. And that lone survivor only remains as I signed up for a year’s commitment to reduce costs!

The excitement of the postman knocking and handing me a box! The moment I opened it to see that eye palette or new launch from Revlon I was lusting over on the Boots website! It was almost an addiction.


Why the change of heart? Read on.

Too many samples have built up. They were coming to me at an unsustainable rate. There was no way I could use all this… stuff. My bathroom still resembles a shelf at the Body Shop and no one seems to be shopping there. I am trying my hardest to use them all up, but it’s going to take a LONG while.

Money! I actually paid for this stuff. Yes, it’s great to receive a miniature of a luxury product, but what about the things I have no use for? I paid for the privilege of receiving them only to keep them buried in a drawer or pass them onto friends. This is not only costly but also wasteful.

Now I can spend money on what want. When I first began my love affair with beauty boxes, I didn’t know which products suited me. It was all in prep for my wedding and I needed experience, STAT. 18 months ago I didn’t know a BB cream from a tinted moisturiser. I loved sampling products and believe these boxes were an integral part of my journey.

I now have it all figured out: mattifying foundations dry me out. I don’t have a need to play with my already defined brows.  Yet, I’d love to treat myself to a fancy tinted moisturiser or volumising mascara.

In fact, that’s exactly what I’ll do with the money I’ve saved…


Superdrug B. Confident Moisture Gel 

Hmmm… So far I have loved everything I’ve tried in the B. range from Superdrug, however my feelings are somewhat muted compared to those of the essence and micellar make-up wipes from the same brand.

The philosophy behind the range is that with each decade you reach another “skin phase” and Superdrug have developed products tailored to each stage of your skincare journey. I’m in my late 20s and so am in the first phase, to which this product is directed.

According to the Superdrug site it, “replenishes tired skin” and “smooths and softens” – but as far as I can tell it has the about the same effectiveness as water itself. Ok, for the first few mins my face feels slightly hydrated but after that it’s business as usual and I feel the need to use a product that is, well, moisturising.

Before you say, “but it’s drugstore, it will never have the potency of higher end products” I can tell you there are many drugstore moisturisers that make similar claims and can deliver on those promises.

I say save a few quid and stick with your regular moisturiser, or go with something from Nivea or Simple instead. If you can afford to splash over a tenner try the offerings from Nip + Fab or Olay.


Primark “High Shine” Lip Gloss 

I’m a bit of a Primark addict; just ask my bank balance and it would tell you the same. I think I can expect an intervention in the near future…

On my last escapade into the wilderness that is Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning, I picked up this impulse purchase. It was £2 (although the label was in € it was definitely GBP) and I thought, “how bad can it be?”… And the answer is, not bad at all.

Look, this isn’t the Kylie lip kit. Neither does it have the pigmentation of MAC. But for two hundred pennies, what can you expect? It is certainly up there with drugstore buys for about half the price of the Rimmel equivalent.

What shade is it? I couldn’t tell you. It doesn’t have a cutesy colour name, this isn’t Urban Decay.

Comfortable on the lips whilst adding a hint of muted pink, this is a fine lipgloss for the everyday. In fact, it would be perfect for visiting Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning.

I’ll see you there…


New Season Resolutions: Autumn/Fall

Autumn is by far my favourite season…


The dazzling colours and crisp air bring a feeling of new beginnings and fresh hope. It’s no secret amongst those who know me that I am not that keen on Summer (purely because I burn and tend to feel the heat excessively), so I am very much excited to whip out those scarves and leather jackets.

Like any new season, it’s also the perfect time for personal reflection and so here are my Autumnal resolutions:

  1. Blog more!

    I know, I know, I’ve said it hundreds of times before but I promise this time I will follow through. VIVIFY has been neglected amongst my honeymoon and those constant work stresses, but there will be no more excuses.The very premise of this blog is to celebrate the mundane and appreciate the brilliance of the everyday.

    Plus, I am yet to try out my micro-review concept (regular single products reviews offered in small bursts that can be consumed whenever & wherever). There will still be lifestyle posts but I have concluded from previous experience that this mode of blogging suits my life best. We shall see, but in whatever form, expect more posts here. I promise.

  2. Stress less!

    I have been doing a pretty good job of late not to let things get to me so much. For example, I hate my job but I come to realise that it does not define me and I’m just ruining my time outside the office by stressing about it constantly.It pays the bills and allows me to fulfil other parts of my life I very much enjoy. The people are nice and the atmosphere is casual. There are many positives amongst the very real negatives. Now I just show up and get on with it, leaving office politics behind me when I walk out at half five.

    Life is very much about the five to nine and not the nine to five.

  3. Get back to healthy ways!

    I did tremendously well last year by exceeding my weight loss goals and losing 24 lbs before my wedding. Slowly, but surely, the weight is gradually creeping back and I intend to nip it in the bud. And I’m not just doing this for aesthetics, it’s more about health for me.See the point above. My bad eating and drinking habits were all linked with my ability to turn literally anything into a soul-sucking negative. My newly found positive thinking goes hand in hand with my healthier lifestyle. And I’ve never felt better.


I really do have a good feeling about the future and cannot wait for all the wonderful things Autumn and Winter bring. This is why I am now fully committed to sharing such things with you on VIVIFY. From my new layout to a new attitude to blogging, it’s all gravy (especially alongside those roast dinners the colder nights bring!).

What are your feelings toward to the change of season? Are you excited to get cosy like me or will you be mourning the sun? Let me know in the comments below.


Full credit to MakeupSavvy for these brilliant Autumnal stock photos!


Fresh Start, Fresh Rules…

Let me be very honest here – blogging the way I have historically just does not work for me. I work full time, I have other hobbies and interests, and sometimes all I want to do during my free time is curl up on the sofa with a sharing bag of crisps and binge-watch Netflix.

What I mean is, life takes over and it’s hard to find the time to sit down with my laptop and blog.

I tried the whole scheduling thing: I had a well-intentioned calendar of blog posts to write and bumper photography sessions of self-made stock photos. It was the pitch perfect blog planning situation but with one massive problem: I lacked the time and motivation to see it through.

But I love blogging! I love having my own little space on the net to voice my opinion on products and to feel as if I am a part of the blogging movement. I don’t expect or particularly want to be the next big blogger on the scene. I doubt I will make a penny from this site. But that’s beside the point: I want to blog and I enjoy it.

So here is how it is going to go: I will blog when I can. I will mainly focus on simple, single product reviews as this is the easiest thing to jot down quickly when the opportunity arises. Yes, it might be a little niche at times but if you’re looking for a straightforward, no BS review on that new drugstore nail polish then maybe VIVIFY.com is the place to be.

When and how often? I’m afraid I don’t know. Of course, there will be the odd travel, food, lifestyle and fashion post chucked in for good measure! I’m just going back to my old Tumblr routes (where VIVIFY originated) and focusing on my strengths: honest, to-the-point, single product reviews.

Be sure to follow on bloglovin to ensure you never miss a post. It will be unpredictable and spontaneous (all the things the blogging advice guides say not to do!) but it will be honest and to the point. I’m excited to finally breathe some life back into this blog and I hope it can live up to its namesake – to make life interesting.

How I De-Stress and Unwind

Oh my god: what a stressful month!

My job was at risk of redundancy which put our three week, once in a lifetime honeymoon was in the firing line also. Of course, this was not the biggest problem at hand. I put myself out there just in case and applied for tonnes of jobs. The problem was none of them appealed to me: I’d fallen into finance by accident and then it remained habit… But the feeling of submitting my CV and hearing back from recruiters at least made me feel as if I had control over this aspect of my situation.

Long story short: my job is safe and I am very, very, very much relieved. My upcoming holidays are safe and I no longer have the embarrassment of asking a new employer for three weeks off almost immediately after starting a new job – what if they said no?!

So how did I make myself feel better during those worrying weeks?

Firstly, I ate well and stayed hydrated. By looking after my body this took some of the strain off my mind. It’s also important to get as much sleep as possible. I have always been a bad sleeper, especially in times of worry, but routine is of the utmost importance. I aim to get up the same time every day – yes, even at weekends – and the body clock follows.

Exercise is also a good stress-reliever as it gives you a chance to expel some energy and frustrations, whilst taking care if your body and also helping you sleep. I have a cross-trainer and weights at home, and also practice yoga from my bedroom, so forking out for expensive gym membership is not essential. My favourite yoga YouTubers are Brett Larkin and Yoga with Adrienne who provide online routines for beginner and experienced yogis alike.

So I’m fed, watered and exercise – now onto relaxation! I love catching up on social media, but stay mindful that everyone projects a refined version of themselves online and only the parts they want you to see. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that everyone else’s lives are perfect when the reality is quite different. So long as you remember this as you scroll through your Instagram feed, social media can be a good way to unwind and connect with fellow bloggers and personal friends.

I also love chilling out with the latest uploads from my favourite YouTubers. There is so something so therapeutic about watching a make-up tutorial or a look book. Perhaps one day I will have enough courage and time to start my own channel! But until then I am more than happy to let my subscription box fill up with vlogs and GRWMs.

So once I’ve been inspired by a YouTube pamper routine it’s time to start my own: firstly, I need to make sure all of my make up is off. You’ve heard of a double cleanse. Well, mine is more like a quadruple!

Make-up wipes and micellar water to get the damn stuff off and then an oil cleanse, followed by a foaming face wash. If I am fortunate to have the time for a bath I would then apply a cold Lush face mask from the fridge whilst running a tub full of Epsom salts, muscle therapy bubble soak and a dash of aromatherapy oil. Bliss.

Once in the bath I’d treat my hair to a mask, shave my legs and relax with a cold beer. There is something so special about the contrast between a hot bath and a cold drink.

Once out, I douse myself in body lotion, put on my dressing gown and read a book/magazine. With my pixie cut I do not need to blow dry my hair so my bath time is over. Bonus.

This simple routine kept me sane during a v. stressful month. Self-care and indulgence in simple pleasures is all there is to it.

How do you unwind and de-stress?



Life Update and Current Obsessions!

Hello after another longer than expected blogging hiatus!

I can’t even attempt to sugarcoat the situation: life is tough right now. My job is at risk of redundancy and suddenly talking about shower gel seems so superficial. But then again, isn’t life about its little treats? Indulging in a long bath has certainly helped with stress recently, amongst these other things:

Make Up

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Colour (£7.99) – Whilst this polish is a little on the pricier side, the longevity and ease of application more than make up for it. I’ve been rocking the bright red, almost coral, shade All Fired Up.

MAC Syrup (£15.50) – This pink-toned nude is the very definition of your-lips-but-better and I just adore the semi-creamy finish which sits so comfortably on the lips and lasts all day. I think this may be The One.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99) – I mentioned in a previous blog post that I hardly ever wear foundation because of its cakey feel, instead using tinted moisturisers and BB creams to even out my complexion. Well, then this came into my life and the rest was history. I use the shade Light Vanilla but it comes in 8 shades to suit everyone.


Sanctuary Spa Beauty Sleep Face Mask (£12.00) – I would classify myself as a lazy girl, so a face mask that works its magic whilst you sleep and requires no rinsing very much appeals the me. I’ve tried similar concepts in the past but was put off by sticky residues and lingering scents, however this soaks into my skin before you can start counting sheep leaving healthier, brighter skin by morning.

NIP+FAB Deep Cleansing Fix (£8.00) – This multi-use cream is an absolute delight. Not only does it remove makeup and cleanses the face, it can also be used as a face mask. Tea tree and sweet almond oil not only smell fantastic but help clear blemishes. I’d stock up.

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser and Serum Duo (£14.99) – We all know the importance of wearing daily SPF but I can’t be the only one who finds the clogginess and overwhelming scent of traditional suncream a turn off. This clever moisturiser and serum duo contains broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF 20) and is oil free – so all the protection without the grease.

Hopefully life will turn around for me in the near future, but in the meantime I will stay strong and keep treating myself until I get my feeling of vivify back!